Friday 8 September 2006

Species of doctoral students

A humorous column by Monica Dux in today’s Weekend Australian classifies several species of graduate students (called “postgrads” here in Australia). Here are some of the species:

The Departmental Darling: “ … given unspoken patronage by the department due to family or old school connections.”

The Phantom Postgrad: “… supposedly enrolled in a postgraduate course, but … you start to doubt if they really do exist.”

The Gifted One: “… universally hated by their fellow postgrads.”

The Show Pony: “… their greatest skill is the ability always to present their exploits in a positive light.”

The Interminable Scholar: “… their poignant cry of ‘I will be submitting my thesis next year’ has echoed through the university since time immemorial.”


michael jensen said...

Yes, or the schmoozers, who never seem to do actual work but who have been to all the conferences and know everybody in the field on a first-name basis. You know, theologians who say 'when I was talking to Stan last week...'

Anonymous said...

In the sciences in the States, your first degree is a BS, then you get an MS, and finally you attain a PhD. When I was an undergradutae this was translated as Bull S**t, More S**t, and Piled-higher-and-Deeper S**t. I presume the same goes for the Queen of Sciences. :)

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

'when I was talking to Stan last week...'

Decades ago Robert McAfee Brown referred to that as the "Brunner agrees with me argument." Even more in that day before transatlantic air travel was common, it gave the impression that one had gone to Zurich or called long distance and personnally convinced Brunner, whereas, in reality, you meant YOU agreed with HIM!

It's amazing how many people one does meet at conferences these days--it gets easier to name drop. And Hauerwas (the Stan I assume you mean) does have the habit of telling everyone to call him by his first name--encouraging this kind of false familiarity by the Schmoozer even more. I think Miroslav was saying something about this just the other day. . .

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